News blog for Seattle's Maple Leaf neighborhood

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Maple Leaf Grill to close May 23rd

April 3rd, 2014 by Mike

The Maple Leaf Grill – a neighborhood institution with Mrs. Peel on the north wall and a huge reclining nude on the south – this morning announced it will close May 23.

From the Leaf’s Facebook page:

It is with great sadness that I must officially announce the impending closure of the Maple Leaf Grill. After 25 years of serving the Maple Leaf community, our last day of service with be May 23rd. I don’t know what else to say except that is has been my pleasure to serve you for nearly 1/2 of those years and I will miss seeing all of your beautiful faces.

You still have about seven weeks to come get your grub on, enjoy the best burger in the city with a pint of your favorite local brew, scarf down a plate of stroganoff or carbonara, or sup lightly on Pat’s pan-seared trout. I do hope you’ll all stop in to say goodbye.

This leaves Maple Leaf with one fewer local restaurant – neighbors will remember LC’s Kitchen closing in the spring of 2011.

From The Stranger:

The kind of bar everyone wishes his or her neighborhood had, the Maple Leaf Grill is a cozy, worn-in den, perfect for folks in the area to walk to and grab a burger and a beer—with their kids or without. A giant horseshoe-shaped bar dominates the main room, making a good spot for solo diners who want some people-watching with their dinner.

From the Leaf’s own webpage:

The Maple Leaf Grill has been a neighborhood favorite since it opened its doors in the charming Maple Leaf area of Seattle in 1989. In 1999, the Grill relocated up the street to the light grey house that sits on the corner of 90th and Roosevelt Way NE. The house was built in the 1920’s and is on the highest point in north Seattle, with views of Mount Rainier and the Olympic mountains. In January 2004, Pat Paull, a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, bought the Maple Leaf Grill becoming the executive chef/owner. Pat Paull promised the loyal neighborhood that he would “bring the Grill back,” which is what he’s done.

From the Leaf’s Facebook page.

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Maple Leaf’s Chiarelli-Dore House listed as historical landmark

April 2nd, 2014 by Mike

The house at 843 N.E. 100th St. looks unassuming when walking your dog by on the street.

It’s a little hard to tell if it’s actually connected to the very similar structure immediately to the west, but which has a different address.

It’s impossible to realize that, seen from a different side, it looks like this:

Kafia, from – the Seattle-based real estate brokerage -  sent us the link to that and 14 other photos – together with the news that the home was just named a Seattle historic landmark.

The 1,700-square-foot home was designed and built in 1949 by noted Seattle architect James J. Chiarelli. According to the landmark nomination, the home is considered a “locally significant example of Northwest Modernism that embodies the distinctive characters of its period of construction.”

The other photos, and more information, can be found at this link,which also says:

Designed by PNW icon James Chiarelli as his own home, this is a model of simplistic beauty. Sited for privacy, w/window walls framing views of wooded, magical backyard. Slightly cantilevered from the foundation, seeming to float above the landscape. Abalone flecked terrazzo floors throughout. L-shaped plan allows for master wing surrounded by nature.

Kafia adds that the house last sold in 2012 for $482,000.

Additional information can be found on this .pdf from the city Landmarks Preservation Board.

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Armed teen pack near Northgate robs boys 11, 16

April 2nd, 2014 by Mike

It’s not uncommon to see police reports about teens snatching iPhones or other mobile devices near the Northgate Mall/transit center area.

Sometimes, police say,  attackers and victims know each other.

This report, which came in by email early this morning,  is different.

My oldest and youngest sons went out for a walk with the dog late evening nice weather (@7 p.m.) last night and spend some allowance. They are 16 and 11.

On the way home they were approached by a group of 8-10 teen boys near US Bank on 8th Avenue Northeast. The teens asked what music was my son listening to. My boys tried to avoid these teens and go back towards Northgate Way to a more public spot. That was when my oldest got jumped. His iPhone and wallet were taken. He was punched in the mouth and almost stabbed (they cut his shirt) as one of the boys held a knife to his side.

The boys appeared to be from 12 to 16 years old, of mixed races. Some were wearing black hoodies.

My youngest ran with the dog and hid, then called 911. My oldest manages to get away and ran as fast as he could before finding help from a good Samaritan. They did a great job handling it all. Police took all the info and will see what they can do to catch the the guys. They said bank cameras usually capture footage with surveillance cameras. There’s a good chance this was filmed since my boys circled the bank while trying to form a plan of escape from the teens when they first saw them.

My oldest son has a fat lip. Both were really shaken up. The police said this stuff usually doesn’t happen right in this area. He commended them for their actions and said to continue life as usual. Not sure we will do that, but generally have an eye open for safety.

We bought our home here 1.5 years ago and never have felt unsafe. Hopefully, these kids get what they deserve. I can’t help but wonder where their parents are.

This report is too new to show on the police crime map. Also, it locked up when we asked it for a month’s worth of similar data.

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Neighbor reports misbehaving in Thornton Creek

March 31st, 2014 by Mike

We get reports from time to time of activities in Thornton Creek where it passes through Maple Leaf.

Most often they are about people cutting trees, or loitering.

Now we have one about fire starting.

Stephanie emails this morning:

I live on Eighth Avenue Northeast & Northeast 104th Street and there is a creek behind my house. I like to walk my dog through the trails on a regular basis. Last Wednesday I started walking him down when I saw a kid (potentially teenager) attempting to start a fire. As soon as he saw me he stomped on it and ran off. Just wanted to let people know who live around there to keep an eye out for kids & teens in the creek area that might be up to no good.

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“Scary solicitor” reported in Maple Leaf

March 30th, 2014 by Mike

Katie writes: “I wanted to let the neighborhood know that I had a really scary solicitor today (Saturday).  She lives at Northeast 92nd Street and Eighth Avenue Northeast.

I live in Maple Leaf and around 6:30 p.m. a tall black man in a Seahawks hat, blue coat and khaki’s knocked on my door. I didn’t answer.

I cracked my blinds and politely Pagessaid ” I’m not interested.” He went on to say that he wasn’t selling anything, more that I needed to “vote” for him for something.

I said that I was busy, and to please leave. He said NO and was really aggressive. I said that I was going to call the police if he didn’t leave. He screamed in my window ” I don’t give a F**K!”.

I called 911, who said they would go and find him.

Honestly, it was terrifying.

Please keep an eye out for him.

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Weather service gets it right – thunder and lightning here

March 29th, 2014 by Mike


From KIRO:

A Green Lake church was damaged Saturday afternoon after it was struck by lightning, said Seattle Fire Department officials.  The incident happened at the Bethany Community Church in the 1100 block of North 80th Street before 5 p.m.

When firefighters arrived, they found a 2-foot by 4-foot hole above the altar.  Fire officials said there was no fire but the electricity was knocked out.

Lightning strikes kill power in Ravenna, 25th Avenue Northeast and Northeast 75th, also at Green Lake Drive North and Northeast 80th Street.

Short-term forecast issued within the hour:



326 PM PDT SAT MAR 29 2014



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Maple Leaf’s famous cherry tree near peak bloom

March 29th, 2014 by Mike

Earlier this morning the neighbors who own Maple Leaf’s heritage cherry tree posted new photos.

You can see them at the tree’s own Facebook page.

The tree, believed to be between 80 and 100 years old, is on the corner of Northeast 90th Street and 12th Avenue Northeast.

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Help find Kindle, the missing black e-reader

March 28th, 2014 by Mike

Sarah emails this morning:

Our carpool buddy parked his large red truck in front of our house on 3/27, near the corner of Northeast  89th Street and 15th Avenue Northeast. In a big “oops” on his part, he accidentally left his Kindle on the bumper of the truck where he’d been reading and waiting for my husband.

We are hoping that a neighborhood Good Samaritan may have seen it and retrieved it for safe keeping. If so, could you please contact Chad at 206-200-7283.

(We haven’t an update on Ralph, incidentally.)

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Help find Ralph, the missing black Lab

March 26th, 2014 by Mike

Dionnie emails this morning:

Ralph, a black Labrador/chow walked out of our house this morning (March 26) – back gate opened due to strong wind last night. If found, please call Dionnie: 206-335-3569. Thanks.

Ralph lives at 14th Avenue Northeast and Northeast 75 Street.

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First Avenue remains one-way for two more months

March 25th, 2014 by Mike

Sound Transit confirmed today that – as one of our readers had suspected – First Avenue Northeast will remain one-way at the Maple Leaf Portal for two more months.

First Avenue NE between NE 92nd Street and just south of NE 100th Street will remain open southbound only through May. Current traffic and Metro bus service detours will remain in place through this extension.

The northbound closure allows crews to safely complete excavation and dirt hauling of the Maple Leaf Portal site. Keeping the northbound lane closed helps keep trucks from tracking out dirt which can wash into nearby Thornton Creek. Additionally, the northbound closure maintains a consistent traffic pattern rather than having continually shifting conditions. Unfamiliar changes in traffic can create a safety hazard.

Crews now plan to open the northbound lane once excavation is complete in May.

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Clouds, rain – maybe hail and lightning – move in

March 25th, 2014 by Mike

The mountain Monday evening as clouds closed in.


3:40 p.m. Heavy rain.

3:45 p.m. Sun.

4 p.m. Rainbow!

More wet weather has arrived – bad news for Oso and those involved  in the slide there.

For us: “The rain comes our way as a cold front rolls in, dropping our temperatures about 10 degrees from yesterday. Showers will be heavy at times this afternoon as highs reach the mid to upper 50s,” KOMO reports.

As the week progresses, hail and thunderstorms are possible. Friday brings a lot more rain.

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PCC’s new store at Green Lake to open June 4

March 24th, 2014 by Mike

Just before noon we heard from PCC that its long-anticipated new Green Lake store – which will be the closest PCC to Maple Leaf – will open June 4.

It will be just down Fifth Avenue Northeast at the location of the old Vitamilk Dairy, which closed a decade ago after 60 years at Green Lake.

It’s a bit behind schedule. The store was originally expected to open in 2013.

The new PCC will be part of the Green Lake Village mixed-use development between Northeast 72nd and 71st streets along Woodlawn and Fifth avenues northeast.

The existing Greenlake PCC, on Aurora Avenue North, will remain.

Long-time residents will remember when the PCC at Greenlake was a block west of the south end of the lake, just off Northeast 65th Street.


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Debate begins over transit tax vote – plus: The bus passed me by!

March 20th, 2014 by Mike

Two weeks before ballots are mailed in the April vote on hiking  taxes to prevent a 17 percent cut in bus service, our news partner The Seattle Times has two transit stories today.

The first is on a debate in Bellevue Wednesday over the proposal for an additional $60 car-tab fee and a tenth-of-a-cent sales-tax increase for roads and buses.

It did not go particularly well for pro-transit advocates, the Times notes:

An early face-to-face over King County’s proposed car-tab-and-sales-tax measure to fund transit and roads took place in front of one of the few organizations opposing the measure, the pro-highway Eastside Transportation Association (ETA)….

…audience members complained about how Metro King County Transit is managed, voiced concerns about seeing some virtually empty buses on some routes and suggested having bus passengers themselves pick up a larger share of the service’s costs.

Metro historically has had difficulty providing the Eastside   – in the past not bus friendly – with enough service to justify the transit  tax dollars the region contributed. One result was buses operated with few riders.

The other, more lively, story is an attempt by the Times to crowd-source the answer to this question: “Full Metro bus pass you by?

“Crowded buses so full they sometimes have to pass by would-be riders. That’s been one manifestation of King County Metro Transit ridership growing back to pre-recession levels.

“Has a full bus passed you by at a bus stop? Tell us about it, we’re mapping pass-ups.”

Ballots will be mailed April 2 for the April 22 election.

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Heavy hail hits Maple Leaf

March 19th, 2014 by Mike

At 2:50 p.m. a hailstorm swept through Maple Leaf.

At 2:53 it stopped.

KIRO reports: “Hail now being reported over north King County.. Even north Seattle. Conv zone is roaring pretty good right now.”

Forecast says thunderstorms are possible this afternoon and evening.

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Crow’s eye view of the Maple Leaf Portal dig

March 14th, 2014 by Mike

A reader sent us this link to a construction cam atop the Maple Leaf Portal work site.

(Sometimes we can get it to work. Sometimes we can’t. Go figure.)

He also says First Avenue  Northeast at the site, which is currently one-way southbound, may not reopen in both directions as scheduled at the end of this month.

“The contractor just requested that they keep it one lane through May. (Sound Transit) hasn’t decided yet if they’re going to grant that yet, and part of that decision will be up to SDOT.”

A different reader, who clearly knows a lot more about the light rail project than we do, emailed the below last week.

Glossary (by editor):

TBM =  Tunnel Boring Machine (we think).

ST = Sound Transit.

Brenda = TBM named after a project manager’s wife, according to comments on an earlier post. Brenda is not Bertha, the whopping big TBM stuck on its way under downtown.

North Link = light rail that will run from Husky Stadium to Roosevelt Station to Northgate. It should reach Northgate in 2021.

Togo and Balto: From the same comments: “The two TBMs that are digging from UW to Capitol Hill were named Togo and Balto after famous Huskies – the four-legged kind.”

The fact sheet regarding tunneling in the North Link document archive notes that one TBM will be launched from Maple Leaf toward Roosevelt, where it will be trucked back to Maple Leaf for re-launch. Two TBMs will be launched from Roosevelt toward UW.

Brenda’s remnants are definitely at Maple Leaf, ST noted that in an earlier press release. Probably fitted with a new shield assembly and cutter head. I believe the original shield was left in place in the tunnel near the Paramount. I’m guessing Togo and Balto will likely be reused on the Roosevelt to UW segment, as that would be a cost effective move for the contractor and probably figured into their bid. Maybe rename them Brendaborg, Togoborg and Baltoborg. :)

Looking forward to this group trying to beat the ULINK bar for cost and schedule, but we shall see, hopefully no immovable objects stand in their way.

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